On August 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that it will NOT require Visa Applicants to complete nor present the DS-5540, Public Charge Questionnaire, while the preliminary injunction ordered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) remains in effect.
To recall, on July 29, 2020, the United States District Court, SDNY, enjoined the DOS from “enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective” its October 2019 interim final rule and accompanying Foreign Affairs Manual guidance related to the public charge ground of visa ineligibility.
The DOS is in the process of updating its guidance to consular officers on how to proceed under the preliminary injunction. Until further guidance, the DOS will refuse visa applications that appear to be ineligible under INA 212(a)(4). Such refusals will be for administrative processing to allow for consultation with the DOS, including legal review to ensure compliance with applicable court orders.
The DOS further stated that Visa Applicants are not requested to take any additional steps at this time and should attend their visa interviews as scheduled.